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The Best Thing About My Ass Is That It's Behind Me Hardcover – May 17, 2011
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From the Back Cover
Follow one woman's bumpy, cellulite-riddled ride through size-0 Hollywood and learn how she went from body-dysmorphic to sassy-asstastic in only twenty-five short years of dieting, thousands of dollars in "procedures,". . . and one pair of industrial-strength Spanx.
From the best girlfriend you didn't know you had comes this "I Can't Believe She Said That" guide to life in the real world. Actress and comic Lisa Ann Walter dishes about parenthood and the dangers of girl-on-girl snarking, explains why skinny actresses act crazy, and gives riotous advice on everything from the dating mistakes we all make to ten things you should subtract when you weigh yourself (self-tanner and dental work, for starters . . .).
So what do you get when you drop a longtime self-loather into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood? This hysterical, and brutally honest, look at the impossible standard of perfection for which so many of us strive. Walter boldly shares her lifelong struggle with low self-esteem—which, in her case, includes plenty of painful auditions, failed relationships, and awkward celebrity encounters, plus lots of impossible diets, questionable injectables, and dubious cosmetic procedures. Along the way, the "celebrity adjacent" Walter also tells her sometimes warm, often cringeworthy, and always funny Hollywood stories (including the reason she'd kill for Richard Gere).
She also shares her sage advice by offering features such as ways to improve your self-esteem that won't cost you a dime:
Push-up. Bra. Construction. Site. You don't even have to look good to get a response. Just wear sunglasses, square your shoulders, and toss your hair. Then count the whistles.
Start frequenting your local gay bar. Both gays and lesbians are much more effusive about how fabulous you are! And you'll get free drinks!
Always be seen with decrepit old men—you'll look young and beautiful in comparison. Think how well this works for those Girls Next Door.
About the Author
From the absurd to the earnest, nothing is offlimits! But most of all, this is the fierce and fearless story of how one woman faced her body-image challenges and insecurities, took on the most competitive business around, and realized that she—like women everywhere—deserved to feel beautiful. Lisa Ann Walter is an actress, comic, and television creator and executive producer of programs including Oxygen network's Dance Your Ass Off. Best known for her work in movies like The Parent Trap, Shall We Dance, Bruce Almighty, and Killers, she is also a well-known name on the standup comedy circuit. She lives in Los Angeles with her four children—one foot firmly planted on the red carpet . . . the other in Costco.
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"You never have to buy an issue of Cosmo again to be the 'Best Lover He's Ever Had.' Just remember this phrase: 'Oh my goodness, I don't know if that will fit.' Then start mentally picking out jewelry." - Lisa Ann Walter
Lisa Ann Walter hosts a Saturday and Sunday late afternoon talk show on a local radio station, and I tune in any chance I get. She's irreverent, funny, and entertaining. And it was with that which compelled me to read THE BEST THING ABOUT MY ASS IS THAT IT'S BEHIND ME.
BEST THING is Lisa Ann's one-woman rant on the unfair expectations Western society has of women, especially when it comes to their physical appearance when compared to the cultural ideal of beauty. According to Walters, this leads to self-loathing, which in her case she's focused on her, um, ass.
"... I just saw ass pads advertised on TV. I almost started crying ... Asses are in ... And mine is still high and firm ... I could probably bounce a quarter off of it with a few thousands squats. I'm totally thrilled. But it came at the expense of my self-esteem because up 'til now whoever decides those things decided that big asses were definitely not hot."
Though I've never seen Lisa Ann's live, on-stage, stand-up comedy routine, I have to believe that the book's humor is probably at its best presented in that milieu. In written format, not so much, though there were moments, especially when skewering crazy diets, cosmetic surgery, exercise trends, and men's sexual expectations, that her monologue elicited chuckles. Indeed, I'm giving a generous four stars just for her smart-ass attitude. When she can finally report about her reflection in a storefront window...
"Yup. That's my snacky ass. It's right there, bouncing behind me. Whoever's following me sure is lucky."
... the reader may very well be moved to yell, "You go, girl!"
And finally, in the light of Lisa Ann's advice to other women - "Always be seen with decrepit old men - you'll look young and beautiful in comparison" - let me just say as an aging man advancing inexorably into decrepitude...
Lisa, I think you're HOT!
And, hey, you can cook, too!
While struggling, and having her share of satisfaction and fun along with the pain and depression, Lisa has also been watching what is going on and thinking about it. She has drawn some conclusions, or at least formulated some questions, and is sharing them with us. For example, why do women, and not just in Hollywood, let themselves be drawn into the killing, and ultimately unwinnable, competition to be supremely young and beautiful, and size 2 (max)? Can one overcome body-self-hatred and exult in becoming the very best version of oneself? How much artifice (e.g., surgery) is self-defeating? How can one wear hair extensions without slowly going bald? Must I wear acrylic nails? Is a voluptuous ass a good or bad thing?
This sassy, sometimes outrageous, sometimes sad, but mostly funny book will tell you a lot about Hollywood and the entertainment biz that you had no idea of, give you close-up views of some big and small figures in that world, and discuss some beauty interventions that you have never even known were available. Along the way, she drops observations on growing up as a half-Sicilian, East Coast suburbanite and even provides some tangy household hints drawn from her heritage and experience, including what is, more than a recipe, a disquisition (to be read in a Brooklyn accent) on making Southern Italian tomato gravy and incorporated meats. She leaves braciola for a more advanced course in the future. May it come soon!